1. C.B.I arrest Bansal nephew in Bribery scandal
i. Railway Min Pawan Kumar Bansal on Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and offered to resign, in the wake of CBI arresting his nephew on bribery charges.
ii. Earlier today, Bansal distanced himself from the matter saying he had no business links with his nephew and denied any wrongdoing.
iii. Vijay Singla was arrested in
for allegedly accepting Rs 90 lakh in cash from
Manjunath, the conduit of Mahesh Kumar,
recently promoted as Member (Staff), Railway Board. Kumar was allegedly
trying to get a lucrative position as Member (Electrical), Railway Board. Chandigarh
v. The other person arrested by the CBI was Sandip Goyal, who allegedly assisted in brokering the deal.
vi. Kumar was General Manager (Western railways) and promoted recently as Member Railway Board, a post equivalent to Secretary in Government of India.
iv. In a statement, 64-year-old Bansal, who was made Railway Minister in October last year, claimed he has always observed highest standards of probity in public life and that nobody can influence his decisions.
NOTE: i. The Railway Board had recently appointed Subodh Jain as Member (Engineering), Mahesh Kumar as Member (Staff) and Arunendra Kumar as Member (Mechanical). The post of Member (Traffic) is yet to be filled up.
ii. The chairman of Railway Board is retiring in June along with the Finance Commissioner and the entire Railway Board is expected to see new faces.
2. 17th session of India- Iran Joint Commission, held in Teheran
i. The 17th session of India- Iran Joint Commission, was held in Teheran today. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid co-chaired the meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi.
ii. Later Khurshid called on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He also met the Speaker of the Iranian Majlis Ali Larijani and the Advisor to the Supreme Leader, Ali Akbar Velayati.
iii. India and Iran have also reiterated the importance of greater connectivity between Russia, Central and South Asia through the International North South Transport Corridor.
iv. The two sides reiterated importance of enhancing cooperation in expanding trade and banking relations.
v. Both agreed to study the prospects of joint investment in both countries. India and Iran strongly expressed deep concern on the continuing and unabated violence in Syria and called upon all sides to abjure violence and resolve all issues peacefully through discussions taking in to account the aspirations of people of Syria.
vi. Three Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in management of water resources, Quality Standards and Foreign Services Instiute were signed between the two sides at the meeting today.
3. Subhash Kumar is the New Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand
i. Subhash Kumar, an IAS Officer from 1977 batch on 3 May 2013 took became the Chief Secretary of Uttaakhand for second time.
ii. He has succeeded Alok Kumar Jain in the office. His first term in the office was from September 2010 to May 2012.
iii. Before being appointed in the office for the second time, Subhash Kumar was the Chairman of the Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (UJVNL).
4. Stage set for K’taka polls on Sunday
i. Capping an intense campaign that saw sparks fly, Karnataka goes to high-stake assembly polls on Sunday amid elaborate security arrangements.
ii. The main players -- the ruling BJP, the Congress and JDS -- were engaged in high pitched campaigning, as also Karnataka Janatha Party of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who has broken away from BJP.
iii. Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi led the Congress charge against the beleaguered BJP in the state which is mired in allegations of corruption while Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi spiced up the counter-attack by the ruling party.
iv. Some poll surveys have predicted majority for the Congress or it emerging as the single largest party but falling short of a handful of seats, followed by BJP and JDS.
v. As many as 1.35 lakh police personnel -- 60,000 from the state, 20,000 homeguards and rest from central paramilitary and neighbouring states -- would be deployed to ensure peaceful and smooth conduct of the elections.
vi. Polling would be held from 7 AM to 6 PM -- timing extended by an hour by an Election Commission order on Saturday- in 223 Assembly segments of the total 224.
5. Maryland became the First southern US state to Abolish Death Penalty
i. Maryland, the U.S. state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, on 2 May 2013 became the first southern US state to abolish the death penalty.
ii. The measure on it was signed by Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley on 2 May 2013.
iii. The person who was attended was former Maryland death row inmate Kirk Bloodsworth.
iv. He will be the first person in the country freed from death penalty because of DNA evidence after being convicted in a death penalty case.
v. On the global level, Maryland is the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.
6. ATP chairman Brad Drewett died
i. 54 years old Brad Drewett, the former tour player who led the ATP as executive chairman and president since January 2012 died on 3 May 2013 after battling with motor neuron disease.
ii. It was Brad Drewett, who helped in increasing the prize money at Grand Slam tournaments.
About Brad Drewett
i. Brad Drewett was a top-40 singles and top-20 doubles player before he retired in 1990.
ii. He was hired in 2006 to lead operations in the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific regions. He led the ATP since January 2012.
iii. Drewett won two singles titles in the early 1980s during his playing career. He also rose to No.34 in the world rankings.
iv. He had worked as a commentator for two Australian television broadcasters.
7. Commonwealth TT Ch’ships starts tomorrow
i. A great opportunity awaits for a group of young and experienced Indian paddlers to sizzle in front of the home crowd and bag a rich medal haul in the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships that gets underway in
ii. A formidable challenge for the hosts in this edition of the event would come from
, who has much
higher ranked players in their squad. Singapore
iii. But if the Indian paddlers get favourable draws, it could well turn out to be a remarkable championship for them.
iv. Singapore have completely dominated the last two editions of the championship - 2007 and 2009, finishing first in all the categories except for men's doubles event.
v. Leading the Indian challenge would be country's most experienced campaigner Achantha Sharath Kamal, who is also the highest ranked player for the hosts.
8. Hockey India recommends Sardar Singh for Khel Ratna award
i. India captain Sardar Singh has been nominated by Hockey India (HI) for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
ii. According to a statement issued by the national federation, Sardar’s name was recommended by the Hockey Award Recommendations Committee.
iii. Sardar has been the captain of national men’s hockey team since November 2012 and under his leadership, India reached the semifinals of last year’s FIH Champions Trophy in Melbourne after a period of 30 years.
iv. The Sardar-led team also won the silver medal in the second men’s Asian Champions Trophy in Doha last year.
v. He was recently declared Asian Hockey Federation Player of the Year 2011. He was also a part of the FIH World Star Team in 2010 and 2011, and was nominated for FIH Player of the Year last year.
vi. Apart from Sardar, HI has nominated Danish Mujtaba, V.R. Raghunath, Tushar Khandekar and former skipper Bharat Chetri for the Arjuna Award in the men’s category.
vii. Among women players who have been recommended for Arjuna Award are Indian captain Ritu Rani, former skipper Saba Anjum and defender Joydeep Kaur.
viii. HI has also recommended Olympian Syed Ali’s name for Dhyanchand Lifetime Achievement Award.
9. PV Sindhu sails into final of Malaysia GP
i. Top seed P V Sindhu stormed into the final of the women's singles event at the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament with a straight-game win over Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in Kuala Lumpur Friday.
ii. Sindhu needed just 34 minutes to get the better of her third-seeded opponent, 21-17 21-11 in the semifinal clash.
iii. The 17-year-old Indian shuttler, who was in a full flow against the Thai girl, will face fifth seeded Gu Juan of Singapore in the final.
10. Kolkata Knight Riders beat Rajasthan Royals by 8 wickets
i. Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets at Eden Gardens on Friday to keep their hopes afloat in the Pepsi Indian Premier League.
ii. Earlier Rajasthan won the toss and batted, were easily summed up with three talking points – Kolkata's bowling, Sanju Samson's innings and Rahul Dravid’s decision to keep himself away from the crease till the fourth ball of the final over.
iii. Yusuf Pathan reposed Gautam Gambhir's faith as he finally returned to form with an unbeaten 49 (35 balls; 3x4, 3x6), his highest for the Knight Riders.
iv. Kallis struck Brad Hogg over his head for a boundary to finish the chase as Pathan remained stranded one run shy of a half-century but his coming to form ensured Knight Riders their fourth win from 11 matches.